Shokugeki no Soma Ep. 3: Where’s the beouf?

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Well, it’s time to introduce the other character. If Erina’s going to be the hard-to-please battle-axe, then we need a meek, delicate flower to counterbalance that. As a result, meet Megumi.

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Nice, she’s only 13, the perfect age for someone to be figuratively  molested by Soma’s bizarre concoctions.

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Also, the girl is too dumb for school, so she’s decided to be a cook. Well, that’s one way to look at it. Then I suppose if she can’t hack it here, she can become a culinary instructor.

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Anyways, the school has an opening ceremony, because we fucking love opening ceremonies. I can’t remember the last school-related anime that didn’t have an opening ceremony. I also can’t remember any opening ceremonies in my life.

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Naturally, Erina is the best and brightest and also the prettiest. Par for the course, really. There’s almost always one of these girls in anime. Someone has to be royalty. This way, it’s all the more delicious when she admits her defeat to the chosen shounen hero.

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Then there’s this old man. As you can plainly read right there in the screenshot, he’s a big wig. All of the students are afraid of him, because he and his family determines your success in the food world, blah blah blah. Yeah, sure. Whatever. The whole setup is ridiculous in a way that it’s not believable, but not ridiculous in a way that it’s amusing. As a result, a vague sense of boredom settles in. I’m not particularly engaged or enthralled by any of these character introductions.

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The whole school is set up in a way that only 1% of the student body will succeed. Sounds like a shitty school, to be honest.

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It’s all fantasy, of course. It’s all hyperbole, of course. I know that, you know that, so on and so forth. Still, I’ll just say it anyway: you should never be proud of the fact that you fail as many students as you can. Alright, back to our regularly scheduled shounen.

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Anyway, much to Erina’s chagrin, Soma is admitted to the school anyway. He then makes an arrogant speech to the rest of his peers, because he just loves to stir the pot.

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Of course. It’s better for our erections if you just pretend to be a challenge.

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It’s really one big dick-measuring contest. We’ve been studying molecular gastronomy for the past three years! Well, I’ve been cooking since I was in my mom’s womb! Just shounen things…

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Megumi desperately wants to stay in school, so she resolves to stay away from the shounen hero.

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For all of like two seconds. See, it’s funny. It’s, like, irony. Also, why does that arrow have to come from his crotch?

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It’s the first day of class, and since Megumi and Soma are like country bumpkins compared to the rest of their classmates, they have no choice but to team up with each other. Alright, alright, I’ve had my fill of boring narrative set-ups and character introductions already. Let’s get to the cooking. I love cooking. Impress me, anime.

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Each pair has to make beef bourguignon… in two hours. Seriously? Seriously? I thought this was a fancy culinary academy. As a result, why would you pick beef bourguignon for a 2-hour test? Sure, sure, they have pressure cookers. Sure, there are several tricks that one can use to quickly tenderize meat. Sure, sure, these kids could learn a thing or two about food science. But c’mon, if it’s all about taste, then why are we focusing on short cuts?

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You make beef bourguignon in two hours if you just got home from work, and for some reason, you want to make stew for your family on a cold winter night or whatever. But these guys are training to be serious cooks and chefs, right? And let’s be real. I’m not going out for a night out of town and ordering beef fucking bourguignon. But let’s play along. Let’s say I really have a hankering for beef stew. Fine. I’ll order your goddamn beef bourguignon. But it better have some serious love in it. By serious love, you better have been cooking that pot of beef bourguignon in the oven at low heat for the past eight hours so that the beef can properly break down and flavor the stew. Don’t give me this two-hour bullshit. I ain’t going to a brasserie, paying at least 25 bucks for the dish, and ordering a nice glass of pinot only to learn that this fucking shit was only made in the last two hours in a goddamn pressure cooker.

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These kids have nothing better to do than to grit their teeth and furrow their brows at the hero. Tough school, only the 1% will succeed, your entire culinary career will depend on your performance, etcetera etcetera… but grr, let’s stare at that kid!

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So naturally, they sabotage Soma and his partner’s efforts. You’d think a school like this would keep a closer eye on its students…

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Um… phrasing! But yeah, the assholes poured a bunch of salt on top of Megumi’s beef. It’s thus up to Soma and his book of culinary tricks to get the job done… in 30 minutes. Mmm mmm, 30-min bourguignon! Compliments to the chef!

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And just look at the size of that beef. It looks like he chucked a giant piece of chuck into a pot. First, you want to tell me that they made this in 30 minutes, then you want to tell me he tenderized a piece of beef that size in just 30 minutes. And just exactly how did he do it?

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With honey, of course! Honey can tenderize beef! Sure, fine. Soma claims he spent time kneading the beef with honey. But I really don’t see how kneading the surface of a piece of beef that big with honey will do anything for the insid–… oh, silly me. We’re here for the “hilariously” over-the-top food reactions. Just roll the damn clip.

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Uh-huh.

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Yeah.

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Yep. Beef stock, some red wine, veggies, and… honey… I’m sure it tasted great. But that’s the other thing. What happened to the red wine? It almost seemed like the episode ignored the other major ingredient in beef bourguinon… hell, the red wine is arguably almost as important as the beef itself! Well, of course it did. These kids are barely old enough for high school, so they shouldn’t really be talking about wine. Now, Anthony Bourdain will claim that you don’t need to use expensive red wine for this dish. And sure, I wouldn’t break out a $100+ bottle of wine for what is essentially beef stew. But I also wouldn’t dump swill in there either. Dude has some humorous and sometimes insightful food commentary, but he was never a great chef. I’m sure he can make a decent beef bourguignon, but it’s not something I’d go out and actually order.

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Anyway, Soma wins the day again, and somehow, Erina hears about it and swears that she will do everything in her power to make Soma’s life difficult. You’d think someone like her would admire someone with Soma’s talent. Game recognize game, y’know? But not in our shounen…

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Then immediately after winning Megumi and the instructor over with his honey-flavored concoction, Soma goes back to mixing squid into everything. Why squid again? That’s an easy question to answer: no one wants to see the 13-year-old girl molested by a buncha cows. But throw in some tentacles, and it’s just the funniest shit ever. Or sexiest. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to laugh or beat myself off. Maybe both. But that’s enough for now. Until next week’s episode… whereupon I’ll rant about food some more.

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Go away.

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14 thoughts on “Shokugeki no Soma Ep. 3: Where’s the beouf?”

  1. “These kids have nothing better to do than to grit their teeth and furrow their brows at the hero. Tough school, only the 1% will succeed”
    Exactly, it always seems like anime just have to have characters like this. I mean It is a test that they have to complete in a short amount of time. I can’t imagine someone else in such a tough situation shifting their focus to someone else. If this was a classroom with an ordinary written test it would look totally ridiculous.

    “Why squid again? That’s an easy question to answer: no one wants to see the 13-year-old girl molested by a buncha cows.”
    Wasn’t funny the first time either. I find it hard to believe he’s so good at cooking if all he does is experiment with squid.

  2. Not that it makes it much better, but Megumi is aged two years since she left her family to go to culinary school. Since she’s in high school now. Again it doesn’t change much because the way they portray her is still :/.

  3. The beginning in the train station was a flashback to when she was entering middle school, then the entrance ceremony is when she is entering high school two years later, did you even notice the part where she seems to be failing? What makes you think she would be failing her clases before the entrance ceremony? Where you even paying attention? Obviously not.

    As for the dish made in this episode not every dish will be some super fancy thing for the super elite, weren’t you yourself ranting about how simple (or simpler) dishes were important even to professionals just in the last episode?

    As for the honey it does work (I have read about some people trying out the same dishes as the episodes air and so far it’s all true) as stated in the anime and I personally see the dish being done around that timeframe since they obviously where already half way done anyways, they just needed to do it differently then the rest for obvious reasons.

    This came off as if you were trying to find something to complain about without even trying to pay attention, I agree on a few points you made but you obviously wanted to complain for the sake of complaining and “entertaining”, this was very forced in my opinion.

    1. The beginning in the train station was a flashback to when she was entering middle school, then the entrance ceremony is when she is entering high school two years later,

      Ooh, 15. That changes everything.

      Where you even paying attention? Obviously not.

      You’re right. I didn’t watch a single second of the anime.

      As for the dish made in this episode not every dish will be some super fancy thing for the super elite, weren’t you yourself ranting about how simple (or simpler) dishes were important even to professionals just in the last episode?

      My point sailed over your head. I guess I’m not the only one not paying attention.

      As for the honey it does work

      Never said it wouldn’t work. But hey, don’t worry. We both don’t pay attention.

      I agree on a few points you made but you obviously wanted to complain for the sake of complaining and “entertaining”, this was very forced in my opinion.

      Okay.

  4. You know this show is kinda sad when the blogger seems to have a greater knowledge of food and cooking than the show/manga writers themselves.

    Completely agree regarding beef bourguignon. We only make it during weekends as it takes like 4 hours to cook minimally. There’s a reason why in shows like Masterchef where there is a time limit contestants don’t try and make slow-cook dishes. The amount of thought the show actually puts into the food is kinda pitiful at this stage, focusing more on miracle gimmicks than actual technique.

  5. Do guys who eat the squid concoction have visions of themselves being molested by honeyed-squids? ’cause I seem to remember Yakitake Japan doing a joke at least vaguely like that. Then again remembering Yakitake Japan while watching this just makes me think of how much better it’d be to go watch Yakitake Japan again.

  6. “YUM”
    “Go away.”
    Very nice, mate. Laughed my ass off. Honestly the show doesn’t bother me that much but this was fun. There’s nothing better than hearing someone with even a passing fancy on a subject use their knowledge in said subject to tear that show a new asshole.

    I liked it when all the musicians I knew in high school ripped into crap like K-ON despite it being well animated (with copious amounts of moe-moe). Same deal here, mate. Hopefully the show sticks to recipes like this so we can get more of your insightful insults on its ignorance. Hahaha!

  7. *I also can’t remember any opening ceremonies in my life.*

    That’s because you only attended plebs gaijin schools, not super-selective elite Japanese cooking academies.

  8. “And just look at the size of that beef. It looks like he chucked a giant piece of chuck into a pot.”

    Well, french cooking is the one major cooking topic that I know almost nothing about, so it kinda flew over my head when I read the manga. I actually thought this was a meat dish that had to be prepared medium or rare or something like that, but now that I know that this is basically beef stew…. this big chunk really does not make any sense whatsoever. I checked the manga again and while the anime made that beef piece even thicker, the original representation is still far away from how a beef stew should actually be prepared (as in cut it into pieces). 30 min make absolutely no sense here.

    “hell, the red wine is arguably almost as important as the beef itself! Well, of course it did. These kids are barely old enough for high school, so they shouldn’t really be talking about wine.”

    I almost agreed with you here, but remember the first episode? The sauce Soma made to accompanie that potato-bacon-dish was made with a red wine base. And now that I have looked up some recipes and wikipedia, leaving out the red wine appears to be a major oversight. I mean, if they have already shown alcohol as a cooking ingredient why not show it again when it really matters?

    Quoted directly from wikipedia: “Beef bourguignon is one of many examples of peasant dishes being slowly refined into haute cuisine.”

    Funny, considering the topic of your last Shogugeki-article.

    1. Maybe because they had to taste it, while the Roast Pork was only served to adults? I know it sounds incredibly silly (especially in an anime that has no qualms with showing naked adolescent girls orgasming in a pool of honey), but it looks like they kinda have strict rules about these things. In Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure they went to ridiculous extents to censor the main character – who’s like 17 and kind of a delinquent anyway – smoking a cigarette, even when it was so plot-relevant they couldn’t just remove it altogether.

      1. “Maybe because they had to taste it, while the Roast Pork was only served to adults?”

        Well, I could get technical here and say that your example with Jojo does not hold up, because deliquent or 17 years old, we are talking about a straight up depiction of smoking, something that would be unneccessary here. Besides, to get really technical, even when you are cooking with alcohol most of it evaporates during the heating process, so Megumi would be tasting well… beef with about 0,05% alcohol content?
        But in the end, what really seals the deal is the fact that even the manga totally left out the red wine and as far as I can guess the censoring is not as strict there.

        1. Well, if that’s how it is, then yeah. It’s weird because the mangaka is supposed to have an actual cook as a technical consultant. But I suppose consultants are there to be ignored as soon as the needs of the story demand it.

  9. So, is every single fucking episode going to dump a pinch of cooking “knowledge” on us in the form of SHOUNEN WORLD-SAVING COOKING TIPZ and then show a girl getting rap music video champagne sprayed because we NEED some bee-yotches getting wet and oiled?

    What is this show even trying to accomplish? Trying to inspire me to get into cooking or get out the wank tissues for those meager “fan-service” ani-frames? Because maybe I should wash my hands for one thing before the other.

    Perhaps I should nominate this for at least a runner-up for The Most Unnecessary Fan Service Award for this year?

    Stick to cooking, ya mongoloids. If I required REAL drawn/animated T&A, I have that shit bookmarked.

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